It is mandatory to have fire extinguishers in working order in structures like hospitals, hotels and shopping malls, but the fire extinguishers installed at some places at the Dr Mathura Dass Pahwa civil hospital here have become redundant as they have not been refilled for a long time. They are just an equipment hanging on the walls but cannot be of any use in case of a fire in the hospital premises.
The fire extinguisher, installed in the emergency ward of the hospital on April 27, 2013, expired on April 26, 2014, but nobody has paid attention to refill it so that it can be used when needed. Similar is the case with other fire extinguishers in the hospital.
Information collected by the Hindustan Times also revealed that there is no any fire hydrant system in the wards or departments of the hospital. The building has fire extinguishers at half a dozen places where they cannot of much help in case of a fire.
The busiest wards of the hospital include the emergency ward, operation theatre and several wards of various other departments including offices and residences of the civil surgeon.
The hospital is visited by more than 2,000 patients daily and more than 100 cases of serious patients come are attended to at the emergency ward.
Except for fire extinguishers, other fire safety measures are non-existent here. There is no any open space, which increases the risk to lives of people in case of a fire.
Sources said that if there is any fire incident in the hospital it can prove a catastrophe in terms of loss of lives and property.
Hakim Singh Johal, a social worker, said that the hydrant system is a most useful system as it ensures immediate supply of water to extinguish fire. "It not only helps fire fighters to extinguish a fire more rapidly but also saves time. On the other hand, fire extinguishers just help to control a small fire incident," Johal added.
Barjinder Singh Brar, chairman, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, said, "Actually, we had ordered all chief medical officers across the state to install fire hydrant system in all hospitals and many of them have got it. "However, I was not aware that the authorities of the Moga civil hospital did not pay attention to this sensitive issue. I will now ensure that the system is installed in hospital soon."